Power of Love Foundation

Our Mission is: To turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic through innovative community responses that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts. Our Vision is: A world where the AIDS epidemic is in continuous retreat, and people living with HIV/AIDS have access to loving care and treatment in an environment free of stigma and discrimination.
Jun 15, 2013

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses 

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16. This Father's Day give a gift of empowerment to a family in Zambia.

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with
business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Since every woman in our program is either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, fewer than 5% have a bank account and as a result, microfinance organizations typically do not provide loans to them. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Businesses started with these loans are diverse and range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cell phone chargers and accessories. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax. Additional businesses include: Groceries (mille meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, vegetables, dried fish, dressed chicken, popcorn), used goods (clothes, shoes, handbags), hair salon/barber shop, electrical fittings, and knitted sweaters. On average, a loan enables a family of 7-8 people to eat better and for the children to attend school. In addition, about two-thirds of the women have the sole responsibility for caring for everyone in their household as they are either widowed or single.

Impact of the Loans Program: With businesses started with the help of the loans and earnings from their businesses, most women are able to feed, clothe and educate their families. Repayment rates are around 90-92%; extraordinary by any measure, but especially so given the harsh circumstances the women face. To date, this program has provided 475 loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia and has improved the lives of over 4000 people in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia.

At this time we have 170 women running successful to moderately successful businesses. As a result of earnings from these businesses more than 100 children have been able to go back to school as their moms/grandmothers are able to pay for school expenses. Further, as the women move on to their second and third loan cycles, they graduate from selling lower value goods like fruit and vegetables or grocery items to higher value items like used clothing, blankets, school jerseys/uniforms, toiletries, shoes. Out of the 170 women, 153 women are on track with their repayments as their businesses are doing well and many of them have increased their capital and started saving bank accounts. At this time, the remaining 17 businesses are not doing well and we are advising the women on how to turn around their business and tracking each business closely.     

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs in September 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 270. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.  

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent. 

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Jun 15, 2013

Stories of Children in Power of Love's "Health Care for 200 HIV Positive Children in Zambia"

Happy Father's day! Father's Day is June 16 - give a gift of health to a dad in Zambia 

Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program continues to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. The goal of this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their own children and sick family members at home. We do this by providing food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to families of HIV positive children in Zambia.

Given below are stories of three children who are benefitting from this program.

Victor: Victor is nine years old and lives in a two-room rented home with his three siblings, step-mom and dad. He lost his mom when he was 2 years old and is being cared for by his step-mom and dad who are both HIV positive. His dad's job as a bar man does not bring in enough income to take care of his family. Victor tested positive in 2009 and started taking ARV medication in December of the same year. However, he did not respond well to treatment and was enrolled in our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program in April 2012. Before joining our program, he had sores round his scalp, diarrhoea, fever, and was not gaining weight. Since enrollment, Victor's weight has gone up from 33 lbs. to 48 lbs. He is given a health check-up every week by our community health worker and is stable in health. Victor is attending a community school as a first grader.  

Lazarus: Lazarus lives with his grandmother, mom, and seven other children that are cared for by his grandmother.  His parents divorced when he was one week old and his mom is HIV positive. Lazarus is also HIV positive and started taking ARV medication in January 2013. He is a fifth grader in a government school and is stable in health. His grandmother is very happy that Lazarus is enrolled in our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program as they receive food, medicines, weekly health check-ups, psychosocial counselling and education in prevention of HIV. In addition, the training Lazarus's grandmother received in caring for an HIV positive child helps her take better care of the other children at home.

Charity: Charity is nine years old and is being cared for by her grandmother as she lost both her parents to AIDS. Prior to enrolment in 2012, Charity was sick with TB and persistent diarrhoea. Since enrolment her health has improved and is now stable. Charity loves our Safe Parks program where she gets help with homework as she attends a community school. Her grandmother is very happy with the support received from Power of Love.  

Thanks for your support and donations to this program.

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Jun 15, 2013

Do Mosquito Bed Nets Impact Children's Health in Zambia?

Happy Father's Day! This Father's day give a gift of health to a dad in Zambia. Your donation will go a long way in keeping children malaria free, healthy and in school. A donation of $10 will provide education on prevention of malaria and two bed nets (that can sleep two adults and four young children) to a family in Zambia.

Project Mosquito Nets provides education on prevention of malaria and long lasting insecticide treated nets to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Segments of the population that are particularly vulnerable to malaria and for whom malaria could be fatal include: children under five years, older people, pregnant women, people living with HIV, and people who have TB. Children and adults who have HIV/AIDS are more likely to experience severe malaria requiring hospitalization and the risk of death. An added complication is that co-infection rates between HIV, malaria, and TB are high. 

Impact of Usage of Malaria Bed Nets on Children's' Health

Over the last three years, we were able to provide 3800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. The nets were used by an estimated 4000 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) and 2500 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). For a short video on the distribution day activities click here. To learn more about our malaria prevention program in Zambia click here. 

Usage of the mosquito bed nets has led to a marked improvement in the health of all beneficiaries but the impact on the health of young children has been much greater. This is because malaria can have severe health consequences on the health of younger children whose bodies have yet to develop the strength to fight the disease. In addition, malaria can be fatal for a child who is malnourished and HIV positive. Also, the use of bed nets has prevented pregnant women from contracting malaria in our community. This is very encouraging as malaria can be fatal for HIV positive pregnant women. Finally, people living with HIV are three times as likely to suffer from malaria, as compared to a person who is HIV negative

Need For Nets: The need for several thousand more nets is ongoing for the following reasons: (i) in low income areas in Zambia, there are several water logged areas/sewers which are breeding grounds of mosquitoes, (ii) due to an unemployment rate upwards of 67%, the residents of the community are not able to afford a net, and (iii) a high rate of HIV incidence increases their vulnerability to malaria.

Request for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in fall 2013. Please donate generously as your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping the children healthy and in school.   

The recipients of nets hope that this program continues in 2013 and beyond and would like us to convey their thanks to donors.

Thanks again for your support for this program.



 

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